Inking Techniques in Adobe Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

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Inking Techniques in Adobe Photoshop - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

teacher avatar Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Inking Images in Photoshop - Introduction

      1:24
    • 2. Pt 1 - Pen Tool Refresher

      4:10
    • 3. Pt 2 - Inking with a Brush

      7:34
    • 4. Pt 3 - Brush a Path

      5:02
    • 5. Pt 4 - Draw ink lines

      3:44
    • 6. Pt 5 - Problem Solving and Wrap up

      7:21
    • 7. Pt 6 - Bonus Speed Drawing of the Pepper

      4:53
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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn three techniques for inking lines in Photoshop. These all vary in final look, ease of use, whether they are editable and whether they are vector shapes. On completion of this class you will know three ways to ink a shape and be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

Music: http://www.purple-planet.com

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Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Inking Images in Photoshop - Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this graphic design for lunch class on inking techniques in Adobe Photoshop. Graphic design for Lunch is a series of classes that teach a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and for working in applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. Today we're looking at inking images in Photoshop. What we're going to do is we're going to look at a few tools and processes that you can use to ink images, each one of which provides you with a slightly different effect. By the end of the class, you should have a good grasp of the basic tools and processes you could use and perhaps have made a decision as to which of them is most likely going to work for your style and aesthetic. As you're watching these videos, you will see a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, do two things for me. Firstly, give it a thumbs up. Secondly, write in just a few words why you're enjoying this class. These recommendations help other students to say that this is the class that they too might enjoy. If you'd like to leave me a comment or a question, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and questions, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. Now if you're ready, let's get started looking at inking images in Photoshop. 2. Pt 1 - Pen Tool Refresher: Two of the inking effects that we're going to look at actually rely on you using the Photoshop Pen tool. Now, I know a lot of people really hate the Pen tool, but in actual fact, this class is a really good opportunity to have a play with the Pen tool because you can get some really good results even if you're not really good with the Pen tool. But there are a few basic techniques that you're going to want to know. If you are already familiar with using the Pen tool, skip ahead to the next video. If you want a quick refresher of the things that we're going to do with the Pen tool in this class, then stick with it and we'll go quickly through those. The first thing we're going to do is actually find the Pen tool, which is over here in the toolbar. It's also worth learning the shortcut key, P for the Pen tool. Now, with the Pen tool, if you click and just draw points, you're going to draw straight line paths. When you finish drawing a path, you can just press "Escape" to finish drawing it. The little asterisk off the bottom of the Pen tool here just tells you that the Pen tool is ready to start a new path. Now, if instead of click, click, click, click, click, we do click and drag. We're going to get something very different. Click and drag, and we're starting to create what are called Bezier curves. Now, these can seem a little bit confusing, but they are relatively easy to understand if you think of these handles as one of them being where you've come from and one as being where you're headed to. Here, we're headed up in this direction, and so this little rubber band that you're seeing here is showing me where the point is going to be next. Now, you may not see the rubber band tool and if you don't, you can always try this little gear icon here and turn on the rubber band. It's not available in some earlier versions of Photoshop, so if it's not here, you won't have access to it. Now, there are a couple of other tools here. The Path Selection tool allows you to select paths. These are all paths, and I can just select and delete them. Going back to the Pen tool because I want to show you how you can change direction because we're going to be using that. Click and drag to start creating your curves. Click and drag to continue with your curve. Now, at this point, if we want to change direction from going down towards going up, I'm going to hold the Alt or Option key and when I hover near this handle, you can see I get an arrow mouse pointer. I can now swing the handle around to point in the direction that I want to head off in. When I let go the mouse button, then I can continue to draw my line. I'm going to come down here. I'm going to change direction, hold down the Alt or Option key, look for that mouse pointer change, drag the handle around to where I want it to go, let go the left mouse button, let go the Alt key, and I'm off and running. Once you've created your points, you can edit them. Over here, there's a Direct Selection tool, it's a white arrow tool. We used the Path Selection tool a minute ago to select and delete our paths. The Direct Selection tool allows us to select and edit an anchor points. I can click on this anchor point. You can see it's black in the middle. The others are hollow, so they're not selected. The one that's black in the middle is selected. I can just drag round the handles to change this point. Click up here. Now, these handles are locked because I didn't change their direction, so they are going to move together. I can shorten or lengthen the handle. They will shorten and lengthen independently of each other, but they will move together until they're unlocked. If you want to unlock them, hold the Alt or Option key, just to hover over the handle till you get this little plus arrow icon, and then you can just drag it out to break it apart. Once it's broken apart, you can let go the Alt or Option key because it's permanently broken away and so these handles now operate independently of each other. That's pretty much all you're going to need to know of the path tools to be able to complete this project, but we are going to be using the Pen tool. As I said, this is a really good class for you if you're not very good at the Pen tool because you can still get some awesome results and it's a great way to practice your skills. 3. Pt 2 - Inking with a Brush: To get started with the first of inking techniques, I'm going to create a new file. I'm going to make quite a large file of 2,000 by 2,000 pixels in size. Now that's pretty important that we start with a large-ish file for this one, because we're going to be working with a bitmap brush. So we're not going to be able to scale this image larger without losing quality. Now I have a reference image so I'm just going to choose, "File" and then place embedded. I have this reference image that we're going to use here of some peppers. Just going to enlarge the image because the pepper I'm interested in is this one at the top here. I'm just going to enlarge it so I can see it pretty near full screen. Now I want to get rid of these peppers here. I'm going to the layer that has this object on it. It's actually a smart object layer, I'll right-click and choose "Rasterize Layer". Now I can go to the last total and just less away the bit that I don't want. I'm going to select that and press, "Delete". I can add a layer beneath all of this. First of all, I'm going to de-select my selection. I'm going to Control click or Command click to add a layer beneath everything. I'll just sample some of this color here and fill the background layer with it by pressing "Alt Backspace" option "Delete". Then I can just crop the image. We've got a bit of the old pepper image that was excluded here. I'm just going to crop all of that away. There's a good starting point for us working. At this stage, I can just merge these two layers, click on the top layer, right-click and choose "Merge Down". I just have a single layer with this pepper in it. We've got a nice, clean, uncluttered reference image. I'm going to this layer, I'm going to lock it so it's not going to move. Even if I work on top of it with moved tools and things, nothing's going to move there. I'm going to add a new layer. I'm going back to the default color, so I'm going to click here to set the default colors. I'm going to the Brush tool. Now there are some brushes that come with Photoshop that are going to allow us to create an inking look. I'm going to open up the brushes palette. The ones I'm looking for are these and there the calligraphic brushes. If you don't have them installed, they ship with Photoshop. So click the "Gear" icon and go and load the Calligraphic Brushes, I click on them. You will want to append them to the bottom of your current brushes selection. Now I don't have to do that, I've already got them. The brush that I'm looking at using is this 15. We can make it bigger if we need to, but the 15 is going to be the one we're going to use. I'm going to open up my brushes panel. Now you can get to that by clicking this icon here, or you can get to it by choosing Window and then Brush. Now this is how it's working right now. It's a pretty good brush, but we can do some other things to it. We're just going to check it, so I'm going to the Brush Tip Shape. I can adjust its size so I can make it bigger if I want it to be bigger. These calligraphic brushes come with a really good setting for spacing. This is an unusual setting for brushes in Photoshop to be as low as one percent. The beauty of a one percent spacing is that you're going to get a nice smooth edge to this brush, so you're not going to get jagged edges on it. You do want to keep the spacing very low, particularly also, if you're adapting another brush to use for inking. Hardness, 100 percent, needs to be that, gives the ink lock. Now the brush looks pretty good right now, but other things that you can do to look at shaped dynamics. You may want to have a look at Angle Jitter and set it to something like Initial Direction. Now that gives us a much blunter end on this brush as you can see. You might like that effect. I don't particularly like it here so I'm actually going to turn it off, but that is another option that you could use. Now with Size Jitter, we do have some options. If you're using a [inaudible] tablet or a tablet, then you probably want a set size to pen pressure. That would mean that the harder you press the pen, the thicker the line is going to be. Conversely, the softer you press with the pen, the thinner the line. Now I am not using a tablet, although it would behoove me to use a tablet. You will probably find it easier to paint with a tablet, but that doesn't mean you can't get good results without the tablet. It just means that a tablet may well be easier for you to use. I'm not using one, just to show you it's perfectly possible to get good results without a tablet. Now I've set up my brush, I can start brushing my ink line onto my image. Now in using a reference image here, I can follow it as closely or not as I like, so I don't have to follow it exactly. I'm just want to get the result that I'm looking for. With this brush, I'm able to pick up the end of the last stroke and start pretty well on the next stroke. I will want to come back anytime that the direction changes perhaps, and look at the direction of the brush. Just so I can get around the corners nicely to get a good line, and I could also come down and decrease the pen size at this point. Because this is a brush, you can also go over the line. If I wanted to zoom in here, I could go back to my brush tool. I can just go in here and work on this line, perhaps, to thicken it up and give it a more interesting look. You can also come to the eraser and you can erase away. Now I've got my eraser set to something that you typically wouldn't use. I'm going to set it to Brush and I'm going to set it to a fairly solid line here. Just so it's going to erase, looking a little bit more like the pen does in going on. I'm using this square brush here, which comes with a really high value for hardness. You can see that we can adjust our pen line with the eraser and then switch back to the brush when we're ready to continue drawing. I'll want to make sure that the brush angle is working for the drawing that I'm doing. Of course with a reference image like this, all you're going to look at doing is creating some lines that are going to be suggestive of the shapes that you're working with here. We want to get some inked lines that are going to suggest this pepper shape. So that's one of the methods that you can use. Now the disadvantage of the method here is, firstly, that's bitmap, so these are not going to scale particularly well. Secondly, your painting. If you don't have a really steady hand, you're going to find that you're going to get bumps here, and particularly, probably, if you're drawing with a mouse rather than drawing with a tablet. This is method one, probably not my preferred method, but it's there if you want to try using that. 4. Pt 3 - Brush a Path: For our second inking technique, we're going to use a combination. So we're going to use a brush, but we're also going to use the pen tool to get some smoother lines. To set this up, firstly, I'm going to just turn off the previous ink path. I'm going to add a new layer to this image that I'm going to work on. Now, I also want to be able to turn off this reference image so I can't see it, but it will help me if I've got a white layer behind it. I'm going to click on this very bottom layer control, click Command, click on the "New Layer" icon to add a layer beneath absolutely everything. I want to fill it with white which is my current background color, so I'll press Control, Backspace, Command, Delete on the Mac. For consistency's sake, I'm going to lock this white layer as well. This just allows me to turn my reference image on and off but still have a plain white layer behind. But before I leave here, I'm going to target this top empty layer because that's where I'm going to be working. The next step is to use the pen tool to draw around the pepper a line that I want to fill. I'm going to the pen tool, I could also get there, of course, by pressing the letter P, and I'm just going to draw my pepper in here. Now, because we're looking for a abstract design and because nobody is going to actually ever see this reference image, we can make this pepper the shape that we want the pepper to be. So if we want the pepper to be slightly different shape, if we don't want some of the lumps and bumps, we don't have to use them. I'm actually going to make mine a little skinnier around the point here. I'm also clicking and dragging rather than drawing straight lines because nothing in nature is ever straight and so this pepper is never going to be perfectly straight edge. So I want to just click and drag to give it a slightly organic shape. At the end of the pen line, I'm just going to press the Escape key. I'm going to the Path Selection Tool, the black arrow tool, I'm just selecting over my path. At this point, if I want to, I can hide my pepper. This is my path, and if I think it needs a little bit of alteration, I can do so. I can go to the Direct Selection Tool, select a point on this path and smooth it out a little bit. We've got plenty of time here to make the pepper shape that I want to see, so we're not confined to try and to draw this in one step, which was one of the beauty of using paths. Let's go back to the Path Selection Tool. Now, I want to go and get my brush. I'm going to the Brush tool, I'm going to make sure that I have a brush like this, so I'm still using those calligraphic brushes, but you could use any brush that's going to give you the effect that you want to see for your inking job. I'm going to the brushes palette here. Again, we could choose window brush to get here. I'm going to the brush tip shape and just going to make sure it's looking pretty good here and I can test it out here, and I'm pretty happy with that. With the brush selected, with the color that I want to paint in selected, with the path selected, I'm going to the path palette here. In the foot of the path palette is an icon which says stroke path with brush. So I can click here to stroke this path with my brush. Now, there's also the same option here on the flyout menu of Stroke Path. You can see here that there's a choice of tools. So we could stroke with all tools but we're stroking with the brush here and we're simulating pressure, so I'm just going to click "Okay". Now, to stop seeing the path line through my brush stroke, I can just click here in the path pellet to add a new path. Once I target that, I don't see the path line any longer. Now, this is the ink line that we have for our pepper. You can see here that one of the benefits of using this approach to inking is that you get a smoother line because you're able to draw the line with the pen tool, but you're still lacking a lot of control in how the line bends, for example, around the tip of the pepper here. So we're getting a thickening here, a thickening that we might like, but it's a bit haphazard because we're not exactly sure what it's going to look like because there's only this one brush stroke that's going on this line. Now, you would continue with this if you are drawing your pepper and create lines using the pen tool and then just stroke the lines with your brush to get your final result. That's a combination approach. We still got a bitmap line, this is still just a regular bitmap layer, but we're using the pen tool to get that line. In the next video, we're going to have a look at our third method, one that is a little bit more complex but I think is going to give you much more interesting results. 5. Pt 4 - Draw ink lines: Now for this third technique, I'm going to turn off this layer because I don't want to see the layer. I'm going to my path palette. I'm just going to trash my path because I want to be working with nothing already selected or nothing already created. I'm going to my Pen Tool. I want to go to the View option. I want to make sure that Snap is turned off. You don't want this to snap because you're going be working too close to the Pen Tool for this to work properly, so disable Snap for now. For the Pen Tool, make sure that you select Path. We're not going to be working with color at this stage, all we're going to be working with is a pen path. Here what I'm going to do is similar to what I did with the previous line, at least for the initial part of it, is just draw out the incline that I want to make. Now in this instance, I'm going to finish my incline about here and I'm going to start swinging backwards and I'm coming in a backwards direction now. I'm going to create a path in the middle of which my ink is going to go. Unlike the previous two techniques where we were really stuck with whatever the brush gave us in terms of dimension on this line, this time we get to choose. I'm just going to finish this line off by clicking at the starting point. I'm going to the direct Selection Tool and I'm also going to zoom in here, I'm going to click on this point here and I just want to straighten up the end here. I want to give it a little bit of pointy end here, a little bit reminiscent of using a pen. Now through here I can come back in and adjust the line as I want. What I'm interested in is the gap between these two pen lines that are running alongside each other. Just check that this end point is a nice pointy end, which it is. Now I'm going to my layers palette, I'm going make sure that the color that I want to fill this line with is selected here as my foreground color and I'll choose Layer, New Fill Layer, Solid Color, and click "Okay". That's filling this line with the black color that I have selected now. If black isn't selected, here just go and select it. It should be 000 RGB and click "Okay". When I click away from here, I have something different this time than what I had last time. I've got a shape layer so at anytime I can go back and re-select that shape layer, I can re-select a Shape Tool, select over this line and I can readjust it. When I adjust it, the paint that is filling it, the ink that's filling it, is going to fill the adjusted shape. Instead of having something that's set in concrete and that's what your lines going to be, this time we have an editable result. Now this technique is a little bit slower than the previous techniques but because it's fully editable, I think that you're going to like it in terms of it being a better way of inking a shape because you could ink all of these lines and then come back and say, well, this one needs a little bit of work or you just select over it and then you can edit it. 6. Pt 5 - Problem Solving and Wrap up: Now when you're drawing ink lines like we did in the previous video, they're going to be a couple of gotchas. I'm going to show those to you now. Firstly, I'm going to draw over this cap on the pepper and I'm going to do it as a single shape. I'm going to speed up the video as I do this. I've just created the first bit of this shape. But if I go now and create a new fill layer, what I'm going to do is fill this entire shape in. What I have to do next is to create the inside of it. I'm going to the pen tool, I'm going to start inside this shape with a brand new pen line because I've already created one pen line. I'm going to zoom in here a little bit so I can see where I'm working backwards the pen tool. I'm going to make sure that I see the asterisk. That's telling me I'm working with a brand new pen line. I'm going to start drawing my second pen line. I'm holding down the space bar as I move the canvas. That allows me to work close in because I have the zoom at a fairly high value. But I can also then move the canvas around so that I can work in the areas that are perhaps right now off the edge of the screen. Again, here what I'm concerned about is the distance between these two lines because that's the area that's going to be filled with the color to represent the ink. Spacebar to move this. Then when I'm done, I want to make sure I click back on the starting point. Now I have a hollow line all the way around the edge of my shape. Let's have a look in the paths palette. This is what my work path looks like right now. I'm going to choose "Layer", "New Fill Layer", "Solid Color", and click "Okay". On the face of it, disaster just struck and I did this because it's going to happen to you so let's go and solve what the problem is Some I'm just going to click "Okay". Now the problem is that Photoshop is seeing this as two paths that's filling both of them. What we're going to do is we're going to go to the Path Selection Tool. I'm going to click on the inside of these two paths. It's the path that I created second, and that's really important. I have it selected. I'm going here to this drop-down menu of options, and I'm going to click "Subtract Front Shape". What that does is it subtracts the front shape from the entire filled shape, and what I get is the filled path that I wanted to be filled. I've got exactly what I want and I can just click away from it. Now, let's go and have a look at another situation because this is just as likely to happen to you too. I'm just going out here because I just quickly want to draw these paths for you. I'm going to draw one path. This time I'm going to draw my second path on the outside. I'm going to select my two paths. I'm going to choose "Layer", "New Fill Layer", "Solid Color". Click "Okay". Disaster again, as we would have expected it to be. This time when I go to "Subtract Front Shape", I don't get the same result. The problem is that the front shape is the one that I drew second, and this time that's the outside shape so it's just not working for me. Let's see how we would solve that. I'm going to the Path Selection Tool and I'm going to select the inside path here. I'm going to this drop-down list here, and I'm going to select "Bring Shape To Front". What that does is it brings this inside path on top or the front of the other one. Now when I go to "Subtract Front Shape", I get exactly what I want. You have two choices here. Either you can be aware that it's going to happen and you're going to draw your outside path first and your inside path second, so that subtract front shape's going to work, or you're going to know that you're drawing them in the wrong order and that you'll have to come into the middle one first of all, go and bring it to the front so then you can subtract it from the outside one. That's just a heads up on what's going to happen that's going to make you think, oh, my goodness, things are not happy here at all. But the really good thing is that even if these are wrong, so if you go and create a filled path and it's wrong, it doesn't matter. You just go and create your filled path and then come back up here and worry about how you're going to get it to look the way it's supposed to look. It's very easy to just undo whatever it is that went wrong, but you still got your paths. You haven't lost anything in the process. There are three methods that you can use to ink and image in Photoshop. You can just use your brush. You can use a brush on a pen line, or you can actually create the pen lines, the ink lines manually by creating paths and filling them. Your project for this class is going to be to create a very simple inked drawing. You can do this on an image that you have drawn yourself, or you can do it on a reference image using a reference image like this pepper here. I'll give you the download link for the pepper if you want to use that. But just practice the ink technique that you think is going to work best for you. Out of one of these three techniques, I'm hoping that you will have found a technique that you like and that you're able to use in Photoshop and post a image of your completed ink drawing as your class project. Now, as you're watching these videos, you will have seen a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you enjoyed the class, do two things for me. Firstly, give it a thumbs up and secondly, write in just a few words why you're enjoying the class. These recommendations help other students to say that this is a class that they too might enjoy. If you'd like to leave a comment or a question, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and questions. I look at and respond to all of your class projects. My name's Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch, and I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon. 7. Pt 6 - Bonus Speed Drawing of the Pepper: Yeah, all right. - Right . Yeah. No. - Oh , all right. - Oh !